What better way to start April, which is National Stress Awareness Month, than to travel to an international destination with wellness in mind?  Here are a few experiences from travel outfitters and hotels around the world that focus on wellness and stress management.

ON FOOT HOLIDAYS: Walk this way

Numerous studies have shown that walking and time in the outdoors reduces stress, improves memory and attention and promotes feelings of calm. Here are a few great self-guided walks from On Foot Holidays that let travelers keep fit both mentally and physically while being immersed in the region’s varied cultures and cuisines and learn a whole new world by exploring places and regions that are off-the-beaten path.

Andalucia – white villages of the Ronda Mountains

April is the best time of year to hike the mountains of southern Spain – the wild mountainsides are thick with wild flowers, and the temperatures not too hot or too cold for comfort. Walk between the pueblos blancos, which contain some of Spain’s most distinctive architecture, and look out for ibex, eagles and griffon vultures in the Grazalema National Park. A seven-night self-guided hiking vacation with On Foot Holidays is priced from £785 per person (based on two sharing), including accommodation, luggage transfers and comprehensive maps and directions.

Photo courtesy of On Foot Holidays.

Photo courtesy of On Foot Holidays.

Andros – green heaven in the northern Cyclades

You’ll find surprisingly verdant landscapes on this Greek island, with quiet seaside towns and lots of spring flowers in April and May. A five-night self-guided hike, staying in Chora and exploring the central part of the island, starts at £600 (based on two sharing) from On Foot Holidays, including accommodation, comprehensive maps and directions.

NAYA TRAVELER: Spiritual Wanderings

For those who travel to escape the often numbing effects of everyday routine and stress and seek to explore the diverse healing traditions across cultures, Naya Traveler’s Wellness Wanders specialty trips are designed to detox, refuel and rejuvenate mind and body within a unique cultural context.

Photo courtesy of Naya Traveler.

Morocco (Year-round)

Explore Morocco through some of the most ancient forms of well being and healing known to the region, tracing their roots back to centuries of Moorish culture and African influences. Revitalize your senses with a variety of invigorating hammam baths and traditional treatments that use natural exfoliating scrubs. Submerge yourself in native ingredients such as organic black soap, rhassoul clay, aromatic plants, rose water and henna. Discover the secrets of Prophetic Medicine, an old form of homeopathy inspired by spiritual and natural resources of the Arabian Peninsula. Visit Moulay Yacoub, famous for its natural hot springs, whose sulfur-rich water is full of therapeutic properties.

South India (November-May)

Unlock the healing power of traditional Ayurvedic medicine and ancient wellness disciplines in South India. Realign and purify your body through a carefully crafted plan by expert practitioners and step into the massive world of Hindu-inspired Ayurveda healing. Meet with one of the most famous Ayurvedic doctors, Dr. Isaac Mathai who has treated royalty, to learn about your mind and body’s needs. Open up your third eye through the restorative Shirodhara therapy with rejuvenating liquids and traditional oils. Rid yourself of small pains with Ksheera Dhara, a special therapy for headaches, insomnia and mental tensions. Delve into the most authentic form of Yoga discipline, from the hand of a master, and inspire spiritual as well as physical awakening. End your journey on a secluded beach to process your in-depth experience and relax by the water.

Photo courtesy of Naya Traveler.

OCEAN THERAPY

It’s widely known that there are numerous health and psychological benefits to being close to the ocean. For more than just beautiful ocean views and vistas, travelers continue to choose trips and vacations that bring them up close and personal with the ocean. The feel of salt water on the skin, the smell of the ocean in the air, the soothing sound of the waves lapping in the distance, the ocean is not only meditative, but reduces stress and allows for self-reflection and discovery.

Photo courtesy of Calabash Cove Resort & Spa.

Calabash Cove Resort & Spa: St. Lucian Spa Getaway

Calabash Cove Resort and Spa is one of the most popular all-inclusive, adults-only boutique hotels in Saint Lucia, a Caribbean gem offering seclusion, beauty and mesmerizing views at every turn. Its 26 villas feature old Caribbean charm coupled with luxurious resort amenities of today. From the heavenly Windsong restaurant and lively C-Bar overlooking the infinity pool to the peaceful Ti Spa, guests have everything at their fingertips when vacationing at Calabash Cove. Ti Spa offers a wide range of treatments that combine European technique with St. Lucia’s storied tradition of using plant and food-based curatives. Each and every treatment is expertly designed to cleanse the body of stress, rejuvenate the spirit and relax the mind.